AEW Beach Break 2022
January 26th, 2022
AEW World Champion: Hangman Adam Page (since 11/13/21)
AEW World Tag Team Champions: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (since 1/5/22)
AEW Women’s World Champion: Britt Baker (since 5/30/21)
AEW TBS Champion: Jade Cargill (since 1/5/22)
AEW TNT Champion: Cody Rhodes (since 12/25/21)
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone
This is to “unify” the interim TNT title and the real one that Cody holds. After a month or two of being insignificant, both of these guys proceeded to absolutely show the fuck out here. The first truly great match on Dynamite this year since Hangman/Danielson and after a rewatch, I feel ashamed not giving this a flat 4 stars and going with ***3/4 on the Up & Over Live Review we did after the show. So now, here I stand, a few days later rectifying my tragic quarter star mistake. This rocked. Sammy’s springboard flying cutter thing off the ladder.. you know what I’m talking about, fucking blew my mind and will be replayed for years and years to come.. honestly as long as AEW exists. Good job, guys, you saved what was a terrible feud and title reign for the both of you. Now, Sammy just needs to keep this energy so this second reign is better than his first which was arguably the worst of any TNT title reign so far. So yeah, this was a great, great match. Sammy wins aaaaaaand yea!
Match rating - ****
2) Wardlow vs. Elijah Dean & James Alexander
Wardlow is now billed as “Mr. Mayhem” … oh yeah bud that turn is coming. Cleveland is his hometown and he gets a great reaction. Awesome and to the point squash with Dean & Alexander bumping great for Wardog.
Match rating - *3/4
Earlier today, Tony Schiavone interviewed Powerhouse Hobbs & Ricky Starks out in the freezing cold. Hobbs wants Dante again and Stark wants Jay Lethal for the FTW Title in Chicago next week. Hobbs looked and sounded like a fucking star here. PUSH. THIS. MAN. NOW.
3) Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia & 2.0
Thankfully Jericho wasn’t involved much in this outside of selling the story of Santana & Ortiz not needing him. Well, that and his self indulgent entrance of course. This really accomplished what it set out to and we got some good wrestling out of it as well so there’s no real complaints here. I’m thankful we are seemingly finally going to see Santana & Ortiz branch out on their own. They’ve become stagnant since the summer and need that room to breathe, desperately, as they’re more than capable of being at the top of the tag team division and honestly, the division needs it. 2.0 & Garcia are so different, but mesh perfectly. The one thing they have in common is that they will have a good match with anyone you put them with so that tells you all need to know about how this went in regards to them. Santana & Ortiz win after refusing to tag Jericho end. Simple story, great execution, good match.
Match rating - **1/2
Video package highlighting the Adam Page/Lance Archer World Title feud that’s started to unfold. They will face off in a Texas Death Match on February 9th on Dynamite. Page’s reaction to this announcement in the pre-tape is hilarious.
We get another entirely too long CM Punk/MJF segment next. As always, they hit some great notes, but took the long road to get where they needed to be. Punk was out first, MJF comes out soon after and agrees to the match against Punk in Chicago next week. They touch on Cleveland being the town Raw was in on the night CM Punk walked out of WWE which was a nice callback that I wasn’t aware of. FTR, Shawn Spears & Wardlow show up and attack Punk from behind. MJF sits cross legged on Punk’s chest and says he’s gonna end his career in the same place it started next week.
Backstage, The Acclaimed have their eyes on Jon Moxley and Anthony Bowens gets him one on one this Friday on Rampage!
Also backstage, Julia Hart has gotten herself into a TBS Title Match with Jade Cargill. Griff Garrison interjects and says she should probably take more time to heal first and Julia lashes out and says she can make her own decisions and fight her own battles. OH SHIT. This is sick. I mean, I’m sure she’s getting squashed on Friday, but seeing this different side of her was cool and she killed it!
4) Leyla Hirsch vs. Red Velvet
It was close to this time last year when Red Velvet seemed like she was full of championship potential and now, here she is, outclassed by Leyla Hirsch. It may be more of a nod to Leyla than a dig at Velvet, though. I mean, Leyla hasn’t gotten this chance to shine as much yet, but I’ve never seen her have as many misses as Velvet. Plus, she dragged Velvet to a very decent match here which as we’ve learned, takes someone with quite a bit of skill and focus. The negative is that the crowd couldn’t have cared less about this and it goes back to the old argument about the women’s division. Why should they have? But, I just hope TK doesn’t take these moments as a negative towards these women, especially Leyla, and instead channels it toward more opportunity, time, & care with them. Make the audience care. Don’t just give them a feud on Dark and recap it in random 40 second clips on Dynamite for three weeks then throw them on the most loaded card so far this year. At least give them one in ring segment to sink their teeth into. Give them a chance to succeed and not just put on solid matches to no reaction.
Match rating - **1/2
After the match, Hirsch continues to assault Velvet and Kris Statlander makes the save.
PAC & Penta El Zero Miedo will face Malakai Black & Brody King next week and there’s a pre-tape of Malakai & Brody talking about PAC. Good shit. They look excellent.
Tony Schiavone introduces Britt Baker who gets a couple minutes to go the fuck off about all her awards in Pro Wrestling Illustrated and stuff. I will never complain about this. The crowd was chanting shit throughout this, but Britt never lost focus and crushed this segment. Hell yeah. D M D.
Meanwhile, the most awkward segment in recent Dynamite history happens as Vickie Guerrero & Nyla Rose show up on the stage yelling at the commentary team about how Ruby Soho cost Nyla the TBS Championship. Excalibur mutters on commentary “Tell your boss, not us” LMAO. I guess they have a match next week, now.
5) Adam Cole vs. Orange Cassidy - Lights Out Unsanctioned Match
I was pleasantly surprised by this. It has some of the obvious flaws that you’d expect, but the big takeaway from this is how valid Orange Cassidy is as a main event competitor. More than minor match discrepancies, my main worry with this was Cole defeating the homegrown star. Now, it may not mean much because it doesn’t count in the rankings since it was unsanctioned, but the fact remains, Orange Cassidy defeated Adam Cole and I think that is something all casual fans can grip toward and it keeps Orange looking strong. This is a victory and match that I think he needed to continue being in that upper echelon of the card after all the big signing in the past 6 months. The first half of this felt rocky to me, there were good spots across the duration of the match, but that’s part of what I worried about here. Spots with no flow or meaning. BUT the pacing and layout of the second half & the finish was so awesome that I can’t help be ecstatic coming out of this match. Great trash brawl main event with a happy ending as the Best Friends all come out to celebrate with Orange Cassidy after his huge victory. YOU LOVE TO SEE IT <3
Match rating - ****
Also, we did a live review of this show after it went off the air over on the Up & Over Podcast YouTube which you can check out here if you’re interested!